The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is considering making the leap to reintroduce the northern cricket frog (so named for the call it makes) to several key areas including Long Island, New York City, the Taconic foothills and two areas along the Hudson River.
The tiny North American frogs which grow to about 1 inch, have been extinct on the Island since the 1930’s, with only 7 found statewide within the last 3-4 years. Although the cause of their demise is not known, Prof. James Gibbs, associate chairman of the Environmental & Forest Biology Department at SUNY College in Syracuse suspects a number of contributing factors ranging from pollution and pesticides to climate change, as well as natural predators such as aquatic spiders, birds, fish, bullfrogs and snakes, etc.
He also noted that :reintroducing species is successful only about 10%-25% of the time. However, if they do succeed, Cricket frog females generally lay between 200-400 eggs at a time, which hatch within days.
“The plan aims to improve the frog’s geographic diversity and ultimately increase its population,” stated DEC Commissioner Joe Martens.
Readers are invited to voice their opinion to the Agency through Febraury 21. Comments of questions should be sent to DEC Wildlife biologist Gregg Kenney, NYSDEC, 21 S. Putt Corners Rd., New Paltz, NY 12561 or by e-mailing to R3Wildlife@gw.dec.state.ny.us with subject line “northern cricket frog.”
For a related article see www.examiner.com/article/ny-s-plan-to-silence-mute-swans-forever